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Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, former head of Congregation for Bishops, elected new dean of the College of Cardinals…

Vatican City, Jan 25, 2020 / 05:30 am (CNA).- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re has been elected the new dean of the College of Cardinals with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as vice-dean. Re, 85, will serve a five-year term under the new term limits created by Pope Francis in a motu proprio issued Dec. 21. Previously, cardinal dean, considered “first among equals,” was a position held for the duration of one’s life. The dean of the College of Cardinals presides at the conclave for the election of the pope and represents the Holy See during the sede vacante. Because Cardinal Re is over the age of 80, he is ineligible to take part in a conclave. The responsibility of presiding over the conclave will therefore fall to 76-year-old vice-dean, Cardinal Sandri. Both Re and Sandri’s elections were approved ...

On day of March for Life, VP Pence and Pope Francis discuss US pro-life movement during Vatican meeting…

Vatican City, Jan 24, 2020 / 09:20 am (CNA).- As the March for Life got underway in Washington, DC, Pope Francis and Vice President Mike Pence met in the Vatican Friday to discuss the Church’s commitment to the pro-life movement. “It was a great privilege to spend time with Pope Francis and to be able to do so on a day that literally hundreds of thousands of Americans, including many Catholic Americans, are gathered on our National Mall in Washington D.C. standing up for the right to life, was a particular joy for me,” Pence told EWTN News Jan. 24. “And to hear his passion for the sanctity of life … It was a great privilege,” Pence added. “I believe that the Church in the U.S. has been a bulwark in the right to life movement since Roe v Wade was first adopted by our...

Pope appoints Cleveland’s Bishop Nelson Perez to succeed Archbishop Chaput in Philadelphia…

Philadelphia, Pa., Jan 23, 2020 / 04:25 am (CNA).- Bishop Nelson Perez of Cleveland was appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia Thursday, returning to the local Church of his priestly ordination. He succeeds Archbishop Charles Chaput, 75, who had led the Philadelphia archdiocese since 2011. Ordained a priest of the Capuchin Franciscans in 1970, Archbishop Chaput served as Bishop of Rapid City and Archbishop of Denver before his transfer to Philadelphia. “Bishop Perez is a man who already knows and loves the Church in Philadelphia, and is already known and loved by our priests and people. I cannot think of a better successor to lead this Archdiocese,” Chaput wrote online following the announcement. Bishop Perez, 58, was born in Miami to Cuban parents, and grew up in New Jersey. He ...

Pro-life group counters Planned Parenthood, announces $52 million war chest for 2020 election…

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2020 / 07:05 am (CNA).- A pro-life political group has announced its plans to support President Donald Trump and pro-life senatorial candidates in their 2020 election campaigns. The announcement comes after Planned Parenthood announced its own plans to spend an unprecedented amount during the 2020 elections. The Susan B. Anthony List and Women Speak Out PAC, its partner super PAC, said Friday it has plans to spend $52 million in the 2020 election cycle.  Mallory Quigley, national spokeswoman for the group, told CNA the amount is “the largest budget for any election cycle that we’ve ever had.” News of the pro-life group’s campaign war chest followed an announcement last week that Planned Parenthood Votes will spend $45 million in a “We Decide 2020” ca...

10 years after Vatican investigation, Legion of Christ faces ‘new credibility crisis’…

10 years after Vatican reform, Legion in new abuse crisis By MARIA VERZA and NICOLE WINFIELD January 20, 2020 GMT https://apnews.com/d71dbfb06b1065b2e9f910c2581371e2 MEXICO CITY (AP) — The administrator of the elite Catholic school in Cancun, Mexico, used to take the girls out of class and send them to the chapel, where the priest from the Legion of Christ religious order would sexually abuse them. “As some were reading the Bible, he would rape the others in front of them, little girls aged 6 to 8 or 9,” said one of his victims, Ana Lucia Salazar, now a 36-year-old Mexican television host and mother of three. “Afterward, nothing was the same, nothing went back to the way it was,” she said through tears at her home in Mexico City. Salazar’s horrific story, which has been corroborated by oth...

In MLK Day message, U.S. Catholic bishops say nation needs ‘genuine conversion of heart’…

Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2020 / 03:37 am (CNA).- The example of Martin Luther King, Jr., is still sorely needed in the United States, given continued injustices, racism and discrimination against minorities, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a message for MLK Day. “As our nation prepares to commemorate the life and witness of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are grateful for his courageous stand in solidarity with all who suffer injustice and his witness of love and nonviolence in the struggle for social change,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Jan. 16. “But we are once again painfully aware that we are still far off from his dream for America, the ‘beloved community’ for which he gave his life.” King is remembe...

Cardinal Dolan conducting ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio…

New York City, N.Y., Jan 18, 2020 / 09:05 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, following an allegation of sexual abuse. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of Vos estis lux mundi, the Church law issued by Pope Francis last year on dealing with accusations against bishops. In a statement released Jan. 18, Joseph Zwilling, director of communications in the Archdiocese of New York, confirmed the investigation. “As directed by Vos estis, Cardinal Dolan earlier notified the Holy See of the allegation that was raised concerning Bishop DiMarzio from his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark. On January 7, 2020, the Cardinal received instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...

Chinese bishop and priests evicted over ‘fire safety’…

Beijing, China, Jan 17, 2020 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- Chinese officials have evicted members of the clergy, including a bishop, from their homes and are closing Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Fujian. While the officials cited “fire safety standards” as the reason for the evictions, all the clergy and churches affected have refused to join the Communist-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. The CPCA, the state-run Catholic Church, entered into an agreement with the Vatican in 2018, regularizing the status of its bishops. While the terms of the agreement have not been released, it has widely been reported that it gives the Communist party effective veto power over future episcopal appointments.  The deal was intended to regularize the status of the so-called underground Chur...

Vatican picks pro-Beijing Father Peter Choy Wai-man as Bishop of Hong Kong, but delays announcement, sources say…

Hong Kong, China, Jan 17, 2020 / 07:06 am (CNA).- The Holy See has delayed announcing its pick for the next bishop of Hong Kong, CNA has learned, amid concerns that local clergy and lay Catholics will see Rev. Peter Choy Wai-man as too sympathetic to the Chinese Communist government. The Diocese of Hong Kong has been without permanent leadership since January 2019, when Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung died unexpectedly. Since Yeung died, the diocese has been led temporarily by Cardinal John Tong Hon, Yeung’s predecessor, who retired from the post in 2017. Senior Church officials in Rome, Hong Kong, and mainland China have independently confirmed to CNA that a decision to appoint Fr. Choy as Hong Kong’s next bishop has received final approval in Rome. Choy is presently one of four vicars g...

In nod to transgender movement, French bishops approve removing parents’ sex from baptismal forms…

Paris, France, Jan 15, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- The French Catholic bishops’ conference permanent council has approved a recommendation to remove references to the sex of parents on baptismal registry forms. “The increasingly complex situation of families in France makes it extremely difficult to draft Catholic acts, especially regarding baptism,” Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat of Langres, president of the French bishops’ conference Council for Canonical Questions, wrote in a letter dated Dec. 13, 2018. He said, because of complex family situations, chanceries in several dioceses in France had “faced problems of vocabulary.” According to canon law, he said, “ministers cannot refuse sacraments to persons who opportunely ask for them, while children cannot be held responsible for the situation ...

Pope appoints first woman to managerial position in Secretariat of State…

Vatican City, Jan 15, 2020 / 10:53 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has named Dr. Francesca Di Giovanni as undersecretary for multilateral affairs in the Vatican Secretariat of State, marking the first time that a woman has been appointed to a managerial position in the secretariat. Di Giovanni, 66, was appointed undersecretary for the Section in Relations in States. She has worked as an official in the department for more than 25 years, with specialties including humanitarian law, communications, migrants and refugees, and the status of women, according to Vatican Media. She will now work with Monsignor Miroslaw Wachowski, who also serves as undersecretary for the Section in Relations in States, but focuses on bilateral affairs. Di Giovanni’s field of multilateral affairs focuses on the interactio...

Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI wrote text, but did not agree to be book’s co-author…

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2020 / 05:58 am (CNA).- Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the private secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, said Tuesday the former pontiff was not informed he would be presented as co-author of a new book on priestly celibacy and that Benedict has asked for his name and photo to be removed from the cover. According to the German-language news agency KNA, Ganswein said Jan. 14 that he had called Cardinal Robert Sarah that morning, at Benedict’s request, to ask the book’s publisher to remove the signature of the pope emeritus from the introduction and conclusion, because he had not co-authored them. Ganswein said that the chapter in the main part of the book is, however, “100 percent Benedict,” according to KNA. “It was a misunderstanding – without questioning Cardin...